Anger: Is It Good or Bad?

Is it ok to be angry? Anger is a common experience and can occur for many reasons. But how do you know if anger is good or bad? In this episode, Dr. Sri shares the answer to this important question.

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When we truly love someone, we desire the very best for them.


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Do You Ever Struggle with Anger?

Anger can manifest itself in many different ways. Some people experience anger in such a way that they are prone to very strong reactions. Their responses to things can be very intense and passionate. This may look like loud outbursts or someone losing their temper. Other people are more inclined to keep their reactions buried inside. They would prefer others not see their reactions. These people might be incredibly hurt, tired of being treated a certain way, and may build up walls to “protect” themselves. 

There are many ways anger can manifest itself and whether it’s our own anger or the anger of someone else, we have all experienced it. Anger is a powerful emotion, but if we can’t control it, we may hurt others or ourselves by being a slave to our passions.

Is It OK to Be Angry?

At first glance, in Scripture, Jesus seems to be offering two conflicting messages about anger. In Matthew 5:21-22. Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.” However, we read in Matthew 21 about Christ going into the temple and chasing out the money changers and showing his anger that his Father’s house has been made into a “den of thieves.”

Anger equates a desire to punish, to set things right. It is important to understand that punishment is not necessarily bad because it isn’t necessarily about getting even with someone. Punishment should be remedial or for the protection of someone. Good anger is anger directed at the right things in the right way. For example, Jesus’ actions in the temple were motivated by love.

“Unreasonable Patience”

There are things in this world that we should be angry about. There are injustices and evil that ought to make us angry. “Unreasonable patience” is when we do not get angry over things we should be angry about. It means that we are encouraging wickedness to continue. It is out of love that we should be angry. And this anger ought to lead us to action, to correct that which is evil and unjust.

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Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, well-known Catholic speaker, and author of several best-selling books. His work with Ascension includes study programs such as A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion and Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. Several of Dr. Sri’s programs were filmed on-site in the Holy Land, and feature immersive video explorations of the sacred sites where Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles lived and died.

Dr. Sri is the host of the acclaimed Ascension podcast All Things Catholic with Dr. Edward Sri.  Together with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri is a founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), of which he serves as senior vice president of Apostolic Outreach.

Dr. Sri lives with his wife Beth and their children in Colorado.

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